In what's become a biennial spectacle, supporters of unprincipled Republicans – who often vote with Democrats – are maligning conservatives as "purists" and accusing them of gambling away Republican control of the Senate. Today, Kimberley Strassel published a column in the WSJ, "Conservatives vs. a Senate Majority," insinuating that Freedom Works and The Club for Growth are helping elect Democrats to the Senate. Specifically, she charges that conservatives opposing Lugar, Bruning, and Thompson will deny Mitch McConnell "the Senate majority leader's office."
There is one predominant point that is overlooked throughout Ms. Strassel's column: it is the very insipid Republican candidates and senators that she supports who have helped the Democrats control the Senate – both in the minority and the majority. It is the very people like McConnell, Lugar, and Thompson who have supported big government, and will continue to support big government in the majority.
The column starts off on the wrong foot with this oleaginous opening line: "Two things stand between Mitch McConnell and the Senate majority leader's office: Democrats, and the conservatives who might help elect Democrats."
Wait a minute. Even if Republicans take back the Senate, who coronated McConnell to be majority leader? The very fact that she deems the election of McConnell as majority leader to be the superlative endgame tells you everything you need to know about her politics.
Does she not realize that McConnell has failed to lead his conference against the plethora of bailouts, stimulus, subsidies, and market interventions that Democrats are itching to pass and have already passed? Or does she support these ideas, so as not to be branded as a truculent purist? The sad reality is that control of the Senate is worthless if less than 51 Republicans are willing to support basic Republican proposals and oppose fundamental Democrat big-government ideas. At present, Senate Republicans are capitulating on so many things that I’ve had to prioritize which issues to highlight for lack of space in these pages. And I'm sorry, but if we're forced to nominate a guy who still supports Eric Holder in a state like Nebraska, we should all call it quits. Ditto for Indiana. Even in Wisconsin, we didn't do too bad last time with the purist Ron Johnson, and that was against a well respected incumbent.
Strassel goes on to implore us to nominate these non-purists, who are supposedly paragons of electability, because they are the only ones who will bequeath to us a 51-seat majority to "roll back ObamaCare through a "reconciliation" process that skirts the filibuster."
I love how establishment Republicans talk so boldly about repealing Democrat bills and ideas, yet when the rubber meets the road, they capitulate and even lampoon conservatives for urging them to fulfill their promise. They did that on numerous occasions last year. Repealing Obamacare through reconciliation is absolutely vital to preserving this country. But it is also an extremely bold move that will require 51 members with intrepid courage. Does anyone really believe that a bare majority of 50-52 Republicans, comprised of the current flaccid crop, along with a couple of new marginal Republicans, will be sufficient to orchestrate reconciliation? There are already numerous Republican senators – not even the most moderate of the bunch – who have gone on record expressing reservations about full repeal.
In fact, it is for this very reason why we feel it is so important to elect conservatives who will fight for repeal of Obamacare with all their political capital. Without conservatives, there will be no Republican majority in the Senate; not one that supports Republican ideas and risks their careers on full repeal of Obamacare. In 2006, then-Sec. of HHS Tommy Thompson, who always had an affinity for government intervention in healthcare, praised Romneycare for "showing us a better way, one I hope policy makers in Statehouses and Congress will follow to build a healthier and stronger America." Then in 2009, when the Democrat Congress did just that, he praised them. Please forgive my purist instincts for not fully trusting him as the 51st vote on Obamacare repeal.
Ms. Strassel closes by drudging up the banal paradigm of Sharon Angle. She fails to disclose to her readers that Angle’s main competitor in the primary was someone who became even more unelectable after suggesting that people will have to barter for their healthcare.
As we noted earlier this week, it's not about purity, it's about consistency. We are looking for candidates who have consistently supported the very fundamental Republican ideals that supposedly unite all factions of the party. Obamacare is definitely one of them. And had we left the Senate races to the likes of Ms. Strassel, we would be at the mercy of Charlie Crist, Bob Bennett, and Arlen Specter. That's not even accounting for Murkowski, Collins, and Brown. We'd need a lot more than 51 "Republicans" to repeal Obamacare. We better do it right.
After all, what’s a Republican majority without Republican values?
Cross-posted from The Madison Project